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Chinese Art and Its Encounter with the World$
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David Clarke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083060

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083060.001.0001

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Abstraction and modern Chinese art

Abstraction and modern Chinese art

(p.133) 4 Abstraction and modern Chinese art
Chinese Art and Its Encounter with the World

David Clarke

Hong Kong University Press

Linear stories of modern art's development have characteristically been formalistic ones, and although such narratives have not always treated abstraction as essential to artistic progress, they have generally given art that is abstract a central role to play. In particular, abstract art proved crucial to narratives that construct postwar American modernism as the inheritor of earlier twentieth-century European modernism, and which serve to ratify American artistic hegemony. This chapter proposes to take one small step towards widening the focus by examining abstraction from the perspective of Chinese art. To take such a deliberately oblique perspective on abstract art's history, it hopes to lay bare some of the cultural closures that are often found in discussions of artistic modernity, and offers a more globalized perspective than is frequently the case.

Keywords:   modern art, abstract art, American modernism, European modernism, Chinese art

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